Snowboarder Shaun White and the nation’s top collegiate women’s volleyball player, Blair Brown, were named Male and Female Athletes of the Month for January by the United States Sports Academy.
The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nominating and balloting processes. Visit the Academy website and submit your vote, and return to the website the first week of each month to vote on the Athlete of the Month. Winners will be announced on the Academy’s website and in the online edition of the Academy Update.
White won his fourth career halfpipe and superpipe championships at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. The two-time Olympic champion raised his career X Games gold medal total to 13.
Brown, a senior at Penn State won the Honda Award for top college women’s athlete in her sport. Brown led the Nittany Lions to their fourth consecutive national title, scoring a match-high 18 kills in the finals against California.
Australian Open men’s tennis champion Novak Djorkovic of Serbia finished second to White on the male ballot. The world’s No. 3 player won his second career title in Melbourne by overhelming Brittan’s Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, in the finals. It was also the second career Grand Slam tournament title for the 2008 and 2011 Australian champion.
World sprint speedskating champion Christine Nesbitt of Canada finished second on the female ballot. The World Cup and 2010 Olympic champion won both 1,000- meter races and was sixth and a surprising third in 500 meter races to claim the sprint title that is calculated on total time from the four races at the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished third for Male Athlete of the Month after he led the first No. 6 seed to win an NFC championship. Rodgers led the postseason in total passing yards (790), completing 66 of 93 pass attempts for six touchdowns and two interceptions in three Packer road victories.
Australian Open women’s tennis champion Kim Clijsters finished third on the women’s ballot, after she won her first title in Melbourne by defeating China’s Li Na, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the finals. The victory gave the 27-year-old Belgian her fourth major as she became the No. 1-ranked women’s tennis player in the world.